MAXON's CINEMA 4D R11.5 Speeds Workflow

Ever since I had the chance to review CINEMA 4D for the first time, I knew it was the perfect example of a program that combines power and simplicity. CINEMA 4D Release 11.5 follows the same concept, while delivering very nice new features.

While there’s a lot to like in C4D R11.5, I can’t really say it’s a revolutionary release, as many of the features are about optimizing resources and speeding up your workflow.

CINEMA 4D R11.5 features a new Picture Viewer that you'll notice first. You can now playback animations directly inside it, and if your animation includes sound, it will playback as well, which is very useful for dialogue animations and also sound-dependant animations in general.

The Picture Viewer also allows you to do an “A/B comparison,” meaning you can compare two renders in a similar way to how you’d do it in applications such as Fusion. Basically, you have a line that divides both images, and you slide it up and down (or side to side) to compare both images. The third tab in the Picture Viewer is the Filter tab, where you can tweak the saturation, contrast and similar settings for your image till you’re fully satisfied. Once you find the look you want, you can save those settings as a Post Effects filter that will be automatically applied to your renders.

The Project Settings window has also been reworked, and gives you centralized access to scene settings you would usually find in different parts of the program.

Animation also shows some workflow improvements. Now, if you want to set a keyframe all you need to do is click the hollow circle next to the animatable attribute while holding the CONTROL key. To delete the keyframe, just click the same circle while holding the SHIFT key.

When the selected object has animated attributes, but you’re not in a frame with a keyframe set on it, those circles will display as hollow red, indicating the attribute is animated but no keyframes are present at the current frame.

The C4D R11.5 Studio Bundle includes the new MoGraph 2. MoGraph is a tool that allows you to create dynamic simulations with arrays of objects, and effects can be combined to get a variety of results. MoGraph 2 also includes MoDynamics, a simulation engine that allows you to run rigid body simulations.

Simulations using MoDynamics are fast, responsive and also very stable. My initial tests didn’t show any kind of slowdown during real-time playback. I did notice the simulation takes a couple of seconds to kick in with large amounts of objects, but after this initial delay the simulation plays back smoothly.

The Cloner Object in the MoGraph module allows you to create duplicates of that object, as well as turning any object into a MoGraph object and use it for dynamic simulations. Making countless copies of the same object can easily consume all of your RAM. Luckily, there’s an option in the Cloner Object that allows you to turn those copies into “instances” that take much less memory.

Another nice small feature is the attribute search. You can now search for attributes directly inside the Attributes window instead of looking for them in the different tabs.

The new workflow improvements in CINEMA 4D R11.5 are a welcome addition. On the other hand, the MoGraph 2 and the new MoDynamics will surely please those who heavily rely on this specific module. CINEMA 4D R11.5 should be well received by current users as well as new ones.

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Editor's Note
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Sergio Aris Rosa [nemirc], is Sr. Staff Writer for the Renderosity Front Page News. Sergio discusses on computer graphics software, animation techniques, and technology. He also hosts interviews with professionals in the animation and cinematography fields. You can follow him on Twitter, and if you want to see what he's up to you can visit his blog.

November 30, 2009

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